Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: The Whisperer ~ by Donato Carrisi


Review by Shellie for: The Whisperer ~ by Donato Carrisi

A translated Italian crime fiction novel, that’s another thrilling read for the fans of this popular and immerging genre. A very dark psychological read, with a paranormal element, which is not for the faint of heart, or stomach.

About:  Six children’s arms are found in a desolate wooded area and the police are distraught, wondering where are the rest of the girls’ bodies? Half assuming they are all dead, it turns out that one may still be alive. The local police team is in a panic to find the living girl (or her body) and to capture the perpetrator who has done this horrific crime, before another child goes missing.

Mila Vasquez, the main protagonist and profiler, has a gift. She has the ability to locate and save live abductees. Naturally, she is brought in to help find this missing girl. And this is only the beginning of a convoluted chase, which includes insights into the darker elements of human nature and inside the lives of the damaged professionals, who are dealing with a child-preying, twisted, yet intelligent killer.

Thoughts:  This is dark, very dark. If you do not like reading about pedophiles then don’t read this book. Conversely, If you love translated crime novels and can stomach some gore then this is a book for you. You will get loads of entertainment here in this intelligent page-turning book while at the edge of your seat.

I have not read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I imagine fans of that novel will also enjoy The Whisperers. The book is definitely literary with writing that is involved, and it’s also a fabulous translation. The psychological insight is enlightening and the story line is convoluted enough to keep one guessing, which is so very important in a book like this. I also liked that the story line contains a slight paranormal element giving it even more of an eerie feel.

The characters are complex and will surprise. Mila’s past and future are linked inextricably with the story line and she is deeply emotionally scarred. So is her impromptu partner, and readers will not realize how lost some of the characters are until close to the very end.

An amazing début, it’s an intriguing, involved, intelligent crime novel that I enjoyed quite a lot, so I think it deserves 4 stars. I was particularly pleased with the ending since it was surprising and gut wrenching - and the reader will finally find out who and what a “whisperer” is. Scary stuff!

January 2012; Mulholland Books (first published January 2009.)

To see more about the book, take a look at our ~ Incoming Books post that includes it.

Bio:  Donato Carrisi was born in 1973 and studied law and criminology. Since 1999 he has been working as a TV screenwriter. The Whisperer, Carrisi’s first novel, won him five international literary prizes, has been sold in nearly twenty territories and has been translated into languages as varied as French, Danish, Hebrew and Vietnamese. Carrisi lives in Rome.

Publishing Perspectives asks: which country is the next “big thing” in crime fiction? Join the conversation.

Thanks for reading.


Alexia561 said...

The story sounded intriguing but I'm not much for gore, and the thought of reading about pedophiles is a huge stumbling block for me, so will pass. Very well done review though!

Love the new header! UFOs, or stepping stones in the sky?

Unknown said...

Alexia -
Thank you! It's not too bad in the gore department, and no details on the pedophiles. Just inferences.

I lost a reader after I posted this review. oh dear....

Yep UFO's, or futuristic flying devices??? - never thought of stepping stones. Hmm...

I need a new quote too. I was thinking of Stephen Hawkings and his recent thoughts on Aliens and earth. He thinks we would be in BIG trouble if they find us... I agree.

Thanks for the comment and the compliments once again.

NancyO said...

I'm glad to see you liked this book - I didn't particularly care for it all that much but it is getting some good reviews from all over. I did like the premise, but I guess it was just not my cup of tea.

Unknown said...

Nancy -
It's funny how some little part of a novel (tone or style, subject matter or a character) will change our minds about it. I know that happens to me often.

What was it for you?

@parridhlantern said...

It would appear that Italo-Crime fiction is the new Scandinavian, this sounds like a good old-fashioned pageturner, will see if it's on Kindle.

Unknown said...

Gary -
Not sure if it's old fashioned or not but it has some twists and loads of psychological insight. I will be curious as to what you think.

My nook allows samples for free, I hope Kindle does the same so you can get a feel for the writing.

@parridhlantern said...

Hi S.hellie, yes it does, so will check it out.

Sue G said...

I've just finished this & I agree that there are some similarities with the Stieg Larsson books. I thought it was quite slow to get going, but the ending made it worthwhile persevering.

Unknown said...

Gary -
I have so many samples on my nook because of that feature.

Have a great weekend!

Unknown said...

Sue -
I have not read - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - but, it is crime fiction, translated, and has a pedophile in it - well at least I am told. Thank you for clarifying that they are similar.

Funny, I got sucked right into this book. It was 2/3 the way through that it got sluggish for me. But it was worth persevering as you mentioned.

Thanks for sharing!

ChristasBooks said...

I am really interested in this books, although a bit wary about how much I can stomach reading about pedophiles, but I still want to give it a chance. Hoping the library has a copy!

Unknown said...

Christa -
It really is a great read and the parts that include our "worst collective horror" - preying on children, is done in a way that is not too offensive.

The writing is compelling and the translation is excellent so I recommend it if you like crime fiction.

I will be curious as to what you think about it, if your library has a copy.

Unknown said...

Personally loved this story. It was the first crime fiction story I ever read and it gave me everything I expected from the suspense to the nightmares. Amazingly done, the ending threw me off completely was really worth getting there in the end. Reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I feel that it isn't on the same level as this book. Would rather direct people to this book then Girl with Dragon Tattoo.

Unknown said...

Hi Chantell -
Thank you for your comment. Sorry it's taken so long to post it. We have been out of the country on a long trip.

I still have not read - GWTDT yet, but we have watched to movies. Both the foreign version and the US. We completely loved them both. But I still cannot compare the two book. So I am at a loss here.

However - I just read a book called COLD IN THE EARTH by Alien Templeton which is written by an English woman and set it Scotland that you may enjoy. It's crime fiction but it will not be out in the US until December. It is not as dark but it was never the less a great read.

I should have a review up some time near the book's pub date.

Happy reading!

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